Dark Souls 2: What to Expect

Post by Patrick

dark souls 2

Dark Souls II has been out for a day and there has already been over two million deaths. But don’t let that scare you away. Even though the series is known to be incredibly difficult and frustrating From Software has gone to some lengths to make Dark Souls II more accessible to new comers. So what should you expect when you start a new game? Well, your character moves better than they did in the first Dark Souls thanks to snappier controls. There’s a new attribute you can level up called “Adaptability” that improves the speed your character performs actions. There’s a new common item called Life Gems that you’ll be using to recover your health, it can be dropped by enemies or bought at shops. You can now fast travel between Bonfires, which isn’t as big of a negative as I thought it would be. The world seems larger than the world in the first game. There seems to be more NPC’s around to interact with. Talk to them and they will reveal some lore. Keep interacting with them and they’ll gift you an item.

But the game has also been made tougher in other ways. Every time you die the total amount of health you have decreases. You have to use a Human Effigy (which are quite rare and expensive to buy) to become human again and remove the limitations set on your health. The more often you die, the shorter your health gets the more “zombie-fied” you look. If you succeed in killing an enemy 12 times, they’ll disappear. This makes it harder for you to farm for souls. On the other hand this can also make things easier by clearing out difficult routes. The tutorial can be completely skipped this time around as well. Oh, and there’s a coffin that can change your gender if you sleep in it.

There are quite a few other things that are different, things I’m still discovering. And That’s part of the joy I get out of the game. Dark Souls is not a game made for everyone. It’s just not fun for some people which is understandable. The fans of the game all like it for various reasons. It could be the combat system, the PvP aspects, the co-op mode, the intense and brutal boss fights or just the sense of discovery. Most importantly, We all accept that death is an integral part of the experience.

Ultimately, before making a decision on whether you want to spend money on this game, be sure to read more about it and watch some game play videos. Check out the community on Reddit, they’re (mostly) helpful when it comes to answering questions from newcomers. Even though Dark Souls II is more accessible it hasn’t sacrificed what made it so great to begin with. It’s still a well-made, well-rounded game, it’s still brutal and rewarding and hasn’t been dumbed down. If you’re a Dark Souls veteran you’ll still find a challenge, if you’re new to the game, welcome to the community!

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Strider Review: Welcome to Metroidvania

Post by Patrick

Strider logo
I’ve never played any of the Strider games growing up for one reason or another, but when I heard that the new Strider game was inspired by Metroidvania it piqued my interest. Super Metroid and Castlevania Symphony of the Night are two of my favorite games while the 2D Castlevania games on the GBA and Nintendo DS were great in their own right. So how does Strider hold up?

The controls in the game are solid and really responsive which is necessary when you’re meant to be controlling a ninja. The world is supposed to be non-linear like Super Metroid and you’re rewarded for exploring with items that increase your health, concept art or new game modes. Killing enemies is satisfying and the boss fights are intense and require you to memorize a certain pattern. I’m playing the PS3 version and it looks good in certain parts but the art direction in specific locations are a let down at times. Some areas just look very generic and sometimes it’s hard to tell where your character is. The camera can be annoying at times especially when it moves in close. I wish there was a way to control the distance of the camera and to keep it static. There doesn’t seem to be a great variety of enemies, most of them are generic soldiers that are very predictable and easy to kill. Another annoying aspect of the game is the way enemies spawn. In Symphony of the Night for instance enemies will respawn once you leave the room you’re in. In Strider enemies will at times continuously respawn while you’re still in the same area. This is annoying and an out-dated feature I’d only expect see in Mega Man games. The music is largely disappointing too and I wish it featured more dominantly as it’s not incredibly memorable and at times unnoticeable.

Even with those complaints the game is still fun. Running around, exploring and killing enemies can be an addictive process. It could have been a greater game if they had gone with different design choices. I’d still recommend it especially if you enjoy playing side-scrolling adventure games.

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